Want to read Slashdot from your mobile device? Point it at m.slashdot.org and keep reading!


Forgot your password?

Slashdot videos: Now with more Slashdot!

  • View

  • Discuss

  • Share

We've improved Slashdot's video section; now you can view our video interviews, product close-ups and site visits with all the usual Slashdot options to comment, share, etc. No more walled garden! It's a work in progress -- we hope you'll check it out (Learn more about the recent updates).


Comment: Re:You are all fucking tools (Score 1) 183

by binarstu (#49215957) Attached to: Major Museums Start Banning Selfie Sticks

You are all fucking tools

I think you are confused about the meaning of the term "selfie stick". In this case, we are talking about a tool used for photography. Most people who own selfie sticks do not have sex with them. I can see how the name "selfie stick" would lead you in that direction, but if you're wanting a discussion about people fucking tools you'll need to look elsewhere.

Comment: Re:Bad idea (Score 1) 671

by binarstu (#49176139) Attached to: Snowden Reportedly In Talks To Return To US To Face Trial

The fact that Putin's Russia is also a bully does not absolve the US of it's hypocrisy and misdeeds.

Not to mention that, from Snowden's perspective, speculating how he'd be treated if he were to reveal Russian state secrets is almost totally pointless, because there is about 0 probability that he would ever be in such a situation. Does anyone seriously believe that the Russian state security apparatus would hire him for a position in which he'd be handling sensitive information? Of course not. When considering his personal welfare, the only thing he has to weigh is his current life in Russia versus what would happen to him if he were to go back to the U.S.

Comment: Re:Xfce 5 should be based on Qt. (Score 2) 91

by binarstu (#49159291) Attached to: Xfce 4.12 Released

Whoever this AC is, s/he evidently has a fill-in-the-blank comment template for bashing GTK+ that can be mindlessly reused for any software based on GTK+. Check out this AC comment from a recent story about Inkscape: http://news.slashdot.org/comme.... Notice that most of it is almost word-for-word identical to the parent post. Just do a search and replace to change "Inkscape" to "Xfce" and you end up with today's comment.

That's why the AC ends up making such stupid satements as:

I truly wish that the Xfce devs would port from GTK+ to Qt, so that we users can use it on Windows and OS X...

Huh? Who, exactly, is wanting to run XFCE on "Windows and OS X"? As others have already pointed out, this statement is neither insightful nor relevent. XFCE is a desktop/window management system for *Linux*, and there is absolutely no reason for its developers to care one whit about how easily it could be ported to Windows.

Comment: Re:In other news (Score 2) 264

by binarstu (#49055521) Attached to: NASA: Increasing Carbon Emissions Risk Megadroughts

Thanks for the link to the PNAS paper. From what I could tell from an admittedly quick read of the article, though, it makes no claims about a "300 year drought" during the medieval period in North America. What it does say is that drought events were common during this time period, and that they often persisted for one or more decades. For example, the article says, "the 12th century medieval drought persisted with an extent and severity displayed in the worst-case decade, 1146–1155, for two decades, 1140–1159". That's not 300 years of continuous drought. Yes, the overall mean precipitation in the Southwest was lower during the medieval centuries, but that doesn't mean there was continuous drought during this time.

For what it's worth, the conclusions of the PNAS paper are pretty much in total agreement with what the researchers in the NASA study found.

Comment: Re:In other news (Score 4, Informative) 264

by binarstu (#49053809) Attached to: NASA: Increasing Carbon Emissions Risk Megadroughts

I watched the video. Pathetic. So there is no record of long droughts in the US. But it is going to get worse! I suggest you ask the Anasazi why they left their lands. Oh geez. A 300 year drought without any SUVs and with less population?

+5 insightful? What is insightful about this?

The linked Wikipedia article mentions the supposed "300 year drought" in a single sentence that ends with... wait for it... "citation needed". Nice.

If you actually bother to read TFA, you will see that the entire point is that droughts in the near future are likely to be similar to those that occured around the time the Anasazi were abandoning their villages. The researchers never claim that "there is no record of long droughts in the US". Their conclusion is that there were long droughts in the past, and we are likely to soon see them again.

Comment: Re:In other news (Score 5, Insightful) 264

by binarstu (#49053259) Attached to: NASA: Increasing Carbon Emissions Risk Megadroughts

That's an appeal to authority argument PopeRatzo.

Your parents should have read to you the fable of the Emperor's New Clothes.

And your arguments seem to be based on appealing to yourself as an authority; e.g. your claim that you "know Earth history and geology well to know that AGW is bunk".

I find PopeRatzo's appeal to legitimate expertise much more compelling.

Comment: Re:Or do something to eliminate journeys? (Score 2) 481

by binarstu (#48986103) Attached to: DOT Warns of Dystopian Future For Transportation

I absolutely agree that better city and development planning will be essential to deal with this problem. The trend of building huge residential-only developments where residents have to drive everywhere to do *anything* (work, shop, etc.) has surely created massive amounts of traffic.

However, I suspect that even if we are successful in promoting mixed-use developments so people can, in theory, live near their jobs, it will have much less impact on traffic than we would hope. For much of the 20th century, it was typical for only one person in a household to work full time. Today, though, both partners in middle- to lower-income families often must work full time just to make ends meet. Because of wage stagnation, today's two-income families actually have less discretionary income than comparable single-income families of a few generations ago. And, of course, many people want to have their own career regardless of what their partner does.

The consequence is that efforts to eliminate commuting through intelligent urban planning would probably have been far more successful in the '50s and '60s than they could be today. For many couples with two careers, it just won't be possible to live where neither person has to commute. Furthermore, couples often decide to live somewhere that is approximately equidistant between their two jobs so that neither person has to carry the full commuting burden. Thus, you still end up with two cars on the road every day, and better city planning seems unlikely to change that.

Comment: Re:Port it to Qt, please! GTK+ is awful! (Score 1) 134

by binarstu (#48953045) Attached to: Inkscape Version 0.91 Released
Thanks for that informative comment. I haven't had such terrible luck running GTK+ applications cross-platform, but you (and others) have clearly had some very bad experiences. And I readily admit that getting GTK+ to work on OSX is a pain. It really is too bad that the support isn't better. There are some good ideas in the GTK+ toolkit, and Cairo is nice for graphics work, but I agree -- developers ultimately want something that "just works".

Comment: Re:Port it to Qt, please! GTK+ is awful! (Score 1) 134

by binarstu (#48949275) Attached to: Inkscape Version 0.91 Released

The portability of GTK+ is, to put it politely, utter rubbish.

There's nothing polite about derogatory hyperbole. The portability of the Windows and OSX UI frameworks could properly be called "utter rubbish", because they're not intended to be portable at all. In contrast, GTK+ apps can and do run on both Windows and OSX, and many applications work quite well on both platforms. I don't think that can reasonably be described as "utter rubbish".

I haven't been able to ever get it working properly under OS X. It didn't even get to the point where it showed a UI, the last time I tried it.

Developing GTK+ apps on OSX is not as easy as it should be, but in my experience, at least, it's not all that difficult, either. It would be great to see this improved, though.

Comment: Encryption is only part of the solution (Score 1) 282

by binarstu (#48912179) Attached to: EFF Unveils Plan For Ending Mass Surveillance
From the summary:

The central part of the EFF's plan is: encryption, encryption, encryption.

Encryption everywhere is great. But as long as the majority of us remain willing to hand over everything about our personal lives to Facebook, Google, etc., then mass surveillance by either private entities or governments will remain ridiculously easy. To me, that seems like the really hard problem to solve. There is no way those companies will deny themselves access to their users' unencrypted data.

Comment: Is this really a problem? (Score 4, Insightful) 99

by binarstu (#48899215) Attached to: Why We Still Can't Really Put Anything In the Public Domain

Both of the linked articles present this as if it is a major problem requiring federal congressional action. Several other posters here have pointed out, though, that actually pulling something back out of public domain via this copyright "loophole" might actually be extremely difficult or even (practically) impossible.

It is perhaps telling that neither article presents a single example of a piece of work that was initially donated to the public domain by its author(s) and then removed from the public domain via this mechanism. So, does anyone know if this has ever actually happened? Given that neither article gives even one such example, I suspect this is not really a problem at all from a pragmatic point of view. Attempting to "fix" it by asking Congress to pass new copyright legislation could even backfire, because the additional provisions and changes that would inevitably get added to any such bill might end up creating new, real problems.

Comment: Wikipedia "proved"? (Score 3, Insightful) 42

From the summary:

While Wikipedia proved that collective intelligence could provide quality contents able to compete with the major encyclopedias...

Wikipedia proved that "no cost and good enough most of the time" outcompetes "expensive and authoratative/reliable". I think this has a lot more to do with Wikipedia's success than the supposed quality of the contents.

Wikipedia also wins on its huge breadth. If what you want from your encyclopedia is plot summaries of television shows and extensive biographies of those shows' fictional characters, Wikipedia is really your only choice.

+ - Innocent adults are easy to convince they commited a serious crime

Submitted by binarstu
binarstu (720435) writes "Research recently published in Psychological Science quantifies how easy it is to convince innocent, "normal" adults that they commited a crime. The Association for Psychological Science (APS) has posted a nice summary of the research. From the APS summary: 'Evidence from some wrongful-conviction cases suggests that suspects can be questioned in ways that lead them to falsely believe in and confess to committing crimes they didn’t actually commit. New research provides lab-based evidence for this phenomenon, showing that innocent adult participants can be convinced, over the course of a few hours, that they had perpetrated crimes as serious as assault with a weapon in their teenage years.'"

If you can't understand it, it is intuitively obvious.